Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Fall is here

Black clouds in the background, peaks of sunshine to light up the fall colors.  Definitely should have taken the camera out a week ago when the colors were at a peak, but they are still beautiful.  Yellow Maple makes it look like sunshine even while the sky is gray.
Orange Oak
Bright red - lots of these - not sure what they are, but I know I need one!
South Fork of the Stilliguamish River is roaring near flood stage after three days of non-stop rain.
Grass is still green in the areas not covered with yellow and brown leaves.
Chantrelle mushrooms are out hiding in the leaves of the same color.  Yes, it's Fall - and I do love Fall.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Apple Time in Washington

Harvesting is what makes Fall special for me.  We just had our first light frost, but it was enough to send me gathering squash, apples, carrots and beets.  In spite of much competition from local critters, I have an abundance of apples.  I've made apple juice, and dried apples, given them away, shared with deer and raccoons, and still have apples.  They are purely organic, so not exactly perfect
But once they're peeled and pared, they have great taste.  Not too sweet, and not too tart.
So I dug out the much used Apple Cake recipe my friend from Boeing shared with me many many years ago.
We're trying to cut back on demon sugar, so I've modified the recipe this year:
Mix together:
4 cups raw apple peeled and diced (I cut into quarters and then chop them finer with my hand chopper.)
2 cups sugar (I substitute 3/4 cup brown sugar and 1 cup Stevia)
1/2 cup cooking oil
1 cup chopped walnuts
Beat two eggs and add with 2 tsp vanilla to apples and mix well.

Mix dry ingredients: 
 2 cups flour
3 tsp baking soda
3 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp salt

Add to apples and mix well. 
Pour into 9 x 13 baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes.  It may take a few more minutes.  Check with toothpick after 40 minutes.
I suppose you could frost it, but I don't.  Ron and I managed to eat an entire cake in 3 days - but it's almost health food and I did eat it for breakfast every day. :)

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Home Made Fig Bars

When I planted a fig tree a few years back, it was mostly a novelty.  I thought it would be fun to see if I could grow a fig or two, and it was always fun to point out the big fig tree in my orchard.  Two years ago, it actually produced 3 figs!  Then last year, I had about 10 figs.  Still not too many for me to personally eat them all. (Ron won't even try them.)
But I never expected to have a CROP! This year the tree is covered with figs that are beginning to ripen and I began scrambling for recipes!
Since I love fig newtons and cookies work better for me than a struessel or full baking dish full of a dessert, I concentrated on cookie recipes.
16 fresh figs, washed, stems removed and quartered.
Add 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 Tablespoon lemon zest (I used 5 drops of Young Living lemon essential oil as I didn't have a fresh lemon.)
1/4 tsp coarse salt and 1 tsp vanilla.  Cook over low heat for about 45 minutes until it is nice and thick and consistency of jam.
Since I'm a multi-tasker, while I stirred the figs, I prepared the crust:
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup soft butter (I had sour cream I wanted to use, so I used one cube of butter and about a half cup of sour cream)
1 1/2 cups brown sugar (I used one cup)
1 Tbsp lemon zest (I used 5 drops of Lemon essential oil)
2 eggs
4 tsp vanilla
It made a soft cookie dough - One half I pressed into a 9x13 baking dish and baked for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

The other half of the dough I pressed into roughly a 9/13 shape between two greased pieces of parchment paper and put in the freezer to cool.
Last step:  Spread the cooled figs over the baked crust, put the cooled other dough half on top and bake another 25 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool (well, we didn't do too well on that part) and eat.
Delicious and nearly health food!

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Class of '62 Annual Party

This week, some members of the Class of '62, Granite Falls High School,  stopped everything else we were doing and met at River Meadows County Park on the Jordan Road for our annual get together.  
Jackie has been the glue that held us together for all these years.  She knows where we are all, what we're doing, health issues, and how to contact us.  Without her, we probably would have lost touch with each other years ago.
Elsie, always there, always helpful, even after moving to Arizona she has made it to the gathering every year.
John, a fixture in both the class and the town.  His sense of humor is always fun.
Elsie, me, Diane, John, Michael, Jackie, and in front
Mary and Sandy
Our group is getting smaller  
This year we said goodbye to Bobby, one of my favorite people ever.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

August News Letter

Well, who knew going back into real estate would consume every spare moment of my time?  With the dry weather, I barely keep ahead of the most essential watering.  I'm still making time to swim every day, but between doing blower door tests, selling and listing real estate, and gardening, I meet myself coming and going. On the plus side, it's forced me to be more organized, tune up my memory skills, and meet more people.  Life is good!

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Annual Family Gathering

When our kids from Salt Lake City come to visit, we plan a family gathering around their visit.  Today was our annual get together.
These little boys love having their uncle take them out fishing - They have an amazing concentration level and fished for about four hours.  Marcus wanted to keep fishing until they caught "all the fish".  They did both get a kid limit under Uncle Tony's tutelage. 

Time for eating, and smores,
for brother bonding
and cousin bonding

Boating, fishing, swimming - So nice to have a sunny afternoon to enjoy it all!

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

May Newsletter


I renewed my real estate broker license this year and am actively working again.  Part of what I'm doing is providing a monthly newsletter for happenings in our town and surrounding area.

News from the State Legislature regarding taxes:
Real Estate Excise tax that is paid when real estate is sold will be changing in 2020.  The current rate is a flat 1.28% of the sales price.  A graduated scale will change that so a property sold in 2020 that has a sale price of $500,000 or less will owe slightly less tax at 1.1% - Properties from $500,000 to $1.5 million will still pay 1.28%.  Properties $1.5 to $3.0 million will see an increase to 2.75%, and properties over $3 million will pay a 3% excise tax.

An excise tax on vaping products was also passed, and changes were made to current tax exemptions, including amending the current sales tax break for residents who live in states that don't have a sales tax, like Oregon. Under the plan, non-residents would be able to request sales tax refunds of more than $25 and would be limited to one refund per year.

The lid on school levies was also lifted.
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Explore Granite Falls and the Mountain Loop—Great YouTube video about our area - If you've never visited this area, this will show you a lot of what we have to offer - Click on the link below:
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Real Estate Happenings: 
BBQ Bucket restaurant sold  as long time owners retire—Thai restaurant coming soon.

A Bistro type restaurant will move into the old Tom Thumb grocery store building soon.

The latest estimate for the opening of the new city hall is sometime in July.

A strip mall in the area adjacent to IGA is in the early planning stages.

O’Reilly Auto Parts broke ground for their store across from McDonalds.
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May gardening tip:  Our normal latest frost day is around the first of May, so it’s safe to plant warm weather crops now.  For quicker germination of corn, soak seeds overnight before planting.

Tomato and pepper plants do better if provided with stakes for support.  If we get a cold night, any cover helps plants to survive and thrive.

Roundup alternative:  A quart of water, a cup of vinegar, a cup of Epson Salts, and a couple of   tablespoons of Dawn dishwashing detergent.

Call me for a complementary market analysis for your property as we enter the busiest time of year for real estate.   I love Granite Falls and look forward to working with you to buy or sell in this area.